Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The story of a love that became the most fearful thing that ever happened to a woman!
A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he's investigating.
The perfect noir comedy of desire, an erotic refraction played in dapper proximity to Hitchcock (what’s taken from Rebecca is passed on to Vertigo). The famous opening introduces aristocratic Manhattan as a perfumed glass cabinet, a whip pan followed without pause by a dolly-in reveals Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) in his bathroom soaking like Marat, venomous typewriter suspended above a marble bathtub. Queenly aesthete and viperish columnist ("sentiment comes easy at 50 cents a word"), he finds a Galatea in Laura (Gene Tierney) and helps her ascend from Madison Ave. go-getter to shimmering socialite. A disfigured corpse brings out the blue-collar detective (Dana Andrews) and the shady bourgeoisie: a sponging playboy (Vincent Price), the "lean, strong body" easily toppled, and…
A mystery film noir directed by Otto Preminger firing on all cylinders. The nights are pitch black, the weather is restless and the brightly lit interiors are filled with cigarette smoke, antique furniture and walking old-fashioned costumes. The atmosphere is stylishly conveyed and acutely perceived. The black and white cinematography is beautifully stark, the camera is moving smoothly, the dissolves are seamless. The sweeping, grandiose and dramatic score gives such weight to unfolding scenes. The dialogue is smart and very well written, excellently punctuated by the cast, part of which are Dana Andrews as the experienced and determined detective and Gene Tierney as the beautiful, attractive and fascinating titular character.
The mystery surrounding the murder is expertly constructed, allowing for…
An incredible film about male projection. LAURA initially plays into the cliché that tends to type all movies that start with the focal character dead, wherein the viewer gets to feel like that person is an active, driving character for the force they continue to exert on the living. But in this case, when Laura is revealed to be alive, her actual presence throws everything that came before into disarray, revealing that image driving the story to be nothing more than the idealized visions of different men in love with her. I've been wanting to watch this movie for years (it spent a solid year near and at the top of my Netflix queue but the disc was always rented out), but never knew anything about it. Imagine my surprise to get not only a great noir an incredibly ahead-of-its-time reflection on noir's pedestal problem.
''Love is eternal. It has been the strongest motivation for human actions throughout history. Love is stronger than life. It reaches beyond the dark shadow of death.''
It's been a good long while since I sunk my teeth into a tasty slice of noir, and what a better way to reacquaint than with Otto Preminger's early landmark Laura. It successfully intrigues with a wonderfully serpentine mystery whilst also offering up finely tuned melodrama and a cracking script delivered by a very capable cast of players. Dana Andrews as Mark McPherson is astute casting as the hardboiled detective that finds he is falling for the seductive titular Laura (a radiant Gene Tierney) in the wake of her mysterious death. Clifton Webb…
I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.
There's so many films that ended up truly great out of sheer luck, accidents and circumstance. Laura is no different. Otto Preminger struggled in every aspect to have this film made the way he wanted, because there was always someone or something working against him. After fighting to get the cast he wanted however, he was denied the right to direct the film and relegated to producing it.
Rouben Mamoulian was given the directing gig, but when the first dailies came in the studio was less then impressed. Much to Preminger's delight he was given the go ahead to fire Mamoulian and take over…
David's Movie entry #14: January 3rd, 2014
In Memory of David Eisen
A hard boiled kind of noir that seems at first by the numbers in its approach of murder mystery with detective on the trail and several people of interest. It is not until midway or even slightly into the last act that the film started to unveil its true colors and the uniqueness it has within the genre. I actually can recall that point quite vividly and to refrain from spoilers I will just say it is when McPherson sits alone in Laura's apartment gazing at her portrait in kind of postmortem affection that never was.
I think Preminger does a great job in this one fooling the…
As he investigates the murder of quickly-climbing New York socialite, detective gets increasingly obsessed with the dead woman. Twisty noir with a penchant for bizarre details and for constantly shifting the focus of the story from character to character (which, in retrospect, might be due to the fact that each chapter in Vera Caspary's original novel is told from the standpoint of a different protagonist) doesn't seem to care if its plot doesn't hold up to close scrutiny but goes straight for atmosphere and unforgettable characters.
La había visto hace muchisimo tiempo y no la recordaba, así que esta ha sido prácticamente como mi primera vez con esta película, y es realmente muy buena, me ha recordado a Rebecca es muchos aspectos (aunque la de Hitch me gustó un poquito mas). Clifton Webb esta perfecto así como todo el reparto incluyendo a una bellisima Gene Tierney, me gustado muchísimo la narrativa del inicio la forma fría y calculadora en que se va desarrollando la investigación así como los flashback donde nos van introduciendo a los personajes.
Una vez que se da un (algo predecible) giro de guión me parece que la película pierde algo de fuerza y se pone redundante, para luego recuperarse finalmente con una secuencia final estupenda y llena de suspenso, otra buena película de Otto Preminger.
"The way she listened was more eloquent than speech..."
Laura is a compelling, elegant, complex, beautiful, unpredictable, and mesmerizing film-noir rich in details and symbolism and with a layered narrative. Directed by Otto Preminger, this is a masterpiece of the genre and one that requires multiple viewings. Films from this era weren't allowed to explicitly show or discuss sexual situations, but the most brilliant screenwriters and filmmakers of the time were able to suggest them sharply and beautifully, and this film is one of those cases. It offers a portrait of obsession in a way that reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, released fourteen years later. It had splendid writing and the plot had some unexpected twists that worked impressively well, and, as for the cast, it was excellent.
Laura is an unusual noir character in that she's presented as sweet and pure (though obviously, she hung out with the wrong crowd). This makes for an interesting dynamic, but it also dulls the typical noir hard-edge. Still, overall, it is a very intriguing and stylish film.
Pretty good mystery for the 40s. I hear there is a remake on deck so it will be interesting to see an updated version.
One of the great movies not about movies, but totally about movies (and all artistic storytelling).
It's amazing that this film came out the same year as the equally great Double Indemnity.
That was different.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!